Canadian women defeat Scotland at World Juniors

North American men both win close openers


March 5, 2009

VANCOUVER – Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes scored a big four-ender to defeat Scotland’s Eve Muirhead 8-3 at the 2009 World Junior Curling Championship at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.


The battle of predicted front-runners saw three singles and two blank ends through the first half of the game. In the sixth frame, Canada scored a deuce and Scotland could only muster another single point in the seventh.


The eighth end fell apart for the Scots, as a series of half-misses left Muirhead facing three Canadian counters on her last stone. Muirhead fired a takeout but overthrew it, missing completely, and Lawes drew for a huge four points and a 7-3 lead.


“Shambles,” declared Muirhead after the game.


“We were in control the first half of the game. We’ve just got to get that behind us and forget about it.


“One loss is okay.”


The Canadians fired an impressive 89 per cent shooting average compared to Scotland’s 73 per cent.


“The girls played amazing,” said Lawes.


“Once we got our two we managed to shift our momentum.”


Canada move to 2-0, with Scotland now at 1-1 along with Denmark (8-7 winners over France) and the Czech Republic (which defeated Japan 8-4). Russia, which defeated Sweden 7-2, is 1-0 along with Switzerland and the United States, with France and Japan at 0-2.


In men’s play, defending champion Chris Plys of the United States and Canada’s Brett Gallant both won close extra-end games to open the initial men’s draw.


Plys missed a pick attempt in the 10th end and surrendered a game-tying steal to Graeme Black of Scotland before slamming the door in the extra frame for a 7-6 win.


Black was pulled away from reporters by his teammates after the match.


Canada’s Gallant, from Prince Edward Island, fought a pitched battle with 2008 fourth-place finisher Kristian Rolvsjord of Norway before making a draw to the four-foot for the 6-5 victory.


In other games, Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson, the 2008 silver medallist, scored five points over the eighth and ninth ends to defeat Russia’s Andrey Drozdov 8-3 and Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne took out Germany’s Konstantin Kaempf by the same scoreline.


Gallant, making his first appearance for Canada, admitted he felt a bit unusual wearing the Canadian colours of black, red and white as compared to his usual P.E.I. green.


“It’s different,” said Gallant. “We’ve been wearing the green for a long time.


“They (Norway) are a great team. They played well, we both did. It’s nice to get right into it against one of the top teams.”


The Vancouver Olympic Centre will host the curling and wheelchair curling competitions at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games next year.


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